Pistachio, Passion Fruit and Mango Pavlova

Soft, fluffy pistachio meringue, layered with tart passion fruit curd, sweet chunks of juicy mango and mascarpone cream.

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The sun is shining and it already feels like summer! I was given the task of creating a dessert for easter Sunday dinner this weekend, and my family requested something a bit summery and light, to match the lovely weather we were having, so I decided to make a pavlova.

I’ve made pavlovas before, but tended to stick to the basic plain meringue, with cream and berries, which is delicious (especially with a drizzle of chocolate sauce), but I was feeling a bit more adventurous, and I wanted so make something a bit extra-special.

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I had a pistachio meringue for dessert at a restaurant a few weeks ago and it was really tasty, so I decided to use it in my recipe.

I decided on passion fruit curd and mangos, because I thought they would give the pavlova a really light and tropical finish. And as you have probably noticed, I always mix mascarpone cheese into my cream fillings, because I find it takes the edge off the sweetness, and gives an extra flavour dimension.

Everyone loved the pavlova, so I can definitely recommend it as a dessert to bring out on special occasions to keep your family happy!

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Variations: You could use any kind of nut in the meringue, hazelnuts would be really nice, and you could then layer it with some chocolate ganache! The mango could be substituted for whichever fruit you like, I think that some pineapple or physallis would work well.

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Ingredients: Serves 10

The Meringue:

  • 8 Egg Whites
  • 400g Caster Sugar
  • 1tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1tsp Cornflour
  • 250g Shelled Pistachio Nuts

Passion Fruit Curd:

  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • 6 Passion fruits – strained juice
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 2tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1tbsp Cornflour
  • 125g Butter

Filling:

  • 250g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 1tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 2 Mangos, peeled and chopped.
  • Whole Pistachios for decoration.

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To Make:

The Meringue:

Preheat the oven to 140°C and line two rectangular baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Blitz the pistachios in a small blender to a coarse powder.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks – this should take around 5 minutes with a hand held electric whisk. Slowly whisk in the caster sugar, 1/4 at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Then fold in the ground pistachios, vinegar and cornflour.

Spoon equal amounts of meringue onto the two baking trays, in a circular shape.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until the top of the meringue has crisped up, but the centre is still squidgy, turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool.

Leave to cool completely before assembling.

The Passion Fruit Curd:

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Strain the juice from 6 passion fruits, reserving some of the seeds for decorating the pavlova.

Combine the juice of the passion fruits, sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water and stir continuously for around 20 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken slightly (you will also see the curd beginning to set on the edges of the bowl, or you can test it by spooning a small amount onto a cold plate, to see if it sets).

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Stir in the butter, and mix until melted and combined, and the curd looks thickened and glossy.

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Spoon into a bowl and leave to chill in the fridge for a few hours.

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Assembling:

Whisk together the double cream and icing sugar, until it forms soft peaks, then quickly whisk in the mascarpone cheese.

Peel and chop two fresh mangoes, cut one into cubes, and the other into larger slices, for the top layer.

Use one of the pistachio meringues as a base for the pavlova, spread over a layer of passion fruit curd (about 1/3 of the total amount), then spoon over half the cream mixture, and scatter over the mango cubes.

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Add the next meringue, and spread with another third of the passion fruit curd. Fold the rest of the curd into the remaining cream mixture, and spread this over the top.

Place the mango slices on top in a radial pattern and decorate with some whole pistachios and passion fruit seeds.

Serve in 10-12 wedges, delicious!

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